Scores of people, at least 75, have been killed in a double car bombing in the Iraqi capital. Civilians were once again the target. The nearly simultaneous explosions tore through a crowded market in central Baghdad. Around 170 people were injured. Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki angrily blamed the car bombs on Sunni followers of Saddam Hussein, though there has been no claim of responsibility.
The attack comes as Baghdad braces for a security crack down by Iraqi and US forces. Earlier attempts to stabilise the capital had limited success. Critics of the Shi’ite-dominated government say this was partly because of a failure to tackle Shi’ite militias. Baghdad says that will not happen. Elsewhere, in Baquba north of the capital, at least 14 people were killed in a bomb attack on another market place.